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Community Unites To Tackle Mountain Safety Concerns

In response to a concerning surge in crime on Table Mountain, more than 250 community members, security groups, and government officials gathered at Jan van Riebeeck Primary School Hall on Thursday to discuss proactive measures to enhance mountain safety. The meeting was organized as part of the Mountain Safety Initiative, which aims to empower the community to play an active role in curbing criminal activities.

Notable among the speakers was Blake Dyason, the founder of Love Our Trails, who passionately addressed the attendees, urging them to become part of the solution. Dyason emphasized the importance of community involvement in assisting law enforcement by being the “eyes and ears” on Table Mountain. He encouraged attendees to engage with various social media groups and save contact details for organizations dedicated to mountain safety, such as Love Our Trails, Take Back our Mountain, Friends of Cape Town, Sanparks, and Wilderness Search and Rescue.

Dyason highlighted the challenges law enforcement faces in patrolling the mountain due to capacity limitations and implored the community to report all incidents and suspicious individuals through the provided channels. He revealed that his team is actively developing a system to compile incident data more accurately, enabling a more effective response.

For those interested in contributing to mountain safety further, Andy Davies, chairperson of Friends of Table Mountain, proposed the establishment of neighbourhood watch trail groups. He encouraged individuals keen on initiating such groups to get in touch with him.

Recognizing the constraints faced by SANParks in managing Table Mountain, attendees were urged by Davies to address their concerns directly by writing to Minister Barbara Creecy, who oversees the Ministry of Forestry and Fisheries and Environmental Affairs. He encouraged community members to advocate for increased resources and manpower for mountain patrols.

Keri Cross, founder of the safety solution app, Buzzer, also addressed the meeting. She explained how Buzzer collaborates with security companies, neighbourhood watches, and first responders to provide a coordinated approach to safety. Buzzer’s unique capabilities include geolocating users upon app activation and sending alerts to local control rooms, response teams, and residents in the vicinity of an incident.

To stay connected with these safety initiatives and contribute to mountain safety, community members are encouraged to follow the provided groups and websites:

Sanparks Table Mountain National Park Facebook group

Love Our Trails: loveourtrails.com

Take Back our Mountain: takebackourmountains.co.za

Friends of Cape Town Facebook group

SANParks: sanparks.org

Wilderness Search and Rescue: wsar.org.za

The success of the Mountain Safety Initiative relies on the active involvement of the community, and by joining forces, we can make Table Mountain a safer and more secure place for all. Together, we can ensure that our beloved mountain remains a cherished natural gem for generations to come.